Hi Gabriel, I enjoyed your book very much and would like to follow your advice. I'm a French 4 student. I want to study maybe the 5,000 most frequently used french words this year, then read the Harry Potter audiobook and ebooks, as you suggested. 1. Can you recommend a reasonable priced phone that can do these things smoothly? What do you think of Samsung galaxy note 3 or 4 or the ipad? What do you prefer? I'm technologically challenged, obviously. 2. Is there a ready-made anki package with like 2,000 common French words with picture, simple sample sentence, audio, and m/f? I tried your multisearch approach to make personal flash cards, but linguee gives complex sentences even for simple words like chien, and making each card takes so much time (5,000 words would take months). I tried your personal deck, but they seem complicated for my level (sentence level). Is there a 2,000 -word package with a picture in the front, then at the back, the French word, a simple sample sentence, m/f info, and audio? That would be of great help. Thanks!

* Originally posted by arkaye.

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  • Hey there - I've been hitting the anki pretty hard for about 4 months and I can tell you this: Don't bother with premade cards. I've tried lot's of different decks and the only one that I've stayed with is the the one I've made from scratch. Yes, it takes a long time... but this is one instance where the journey is the destination.

    Two reasons I suggest this: by spending the time to make the card, you are more likely to remember it (sometimes on the very first review). I often surprise myself by automatically blurting out words I wouldn't have thought I knew.

    The second reason is it keeps things fun. While making the cards, you can find a funny picture or use a funny example sentence. It really helps lighten the mood of crunching through 100 cards... and it's easier to remember because it's funny.

    If you want to try premade decks, there are tons to browse through on the anki website. But trust me, you'll find yourself spinning your wheels.

    Re: difficult sample sentences... if you are having trouble with grammar, just up your vocab and grammar with some picture cards (just a picture and the word) for a couple weeks, then example sentences aren't going to seem so bad. If they are still too hard, figure out exactly what grammatical structure you are having trouble with and make a card for it. Finally, find a tutor on one of the many online resources listed on this website and have them correct sample sentences you make yourself.

    * Originally posted by bkilrain.
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  • Thank you for the insights, bkilrain. I'm also beginning to realize how self-made flash cards are more effective than readymade ones. Readymade ones can also tend to be confusing, especially if you don't know what exactly is being asked.

    Would you have any recommendations about what phone to get? If I want to study 5,000 flashcards with pictures and audio, would a 1.0 GHz android phone with 16 GB of memory and 5" screen be enough? I worry about the anki program slowing down or running out of memory, or the screen being too annoyingly small. I plan to make flashcards using my PC, then sync it with the android phone, where I will do most of my studying.

    Thank you.

    * Originally posted by arkaye.
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  • I use a samsung galaxy s3... a few years old. No problems. What's nice about most androids is you can buy extra memory cards if you start to run out of the built in hard disk space.

    * Originally posted by bkilrain.
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  • Hi Arkaye,

    My last phone had very similar specs to what you laid out. It worked fine. The only thing that I did do was increase the font size used when my flash cards were displayed. I'm learning Mandarin Chinese so I needed the extra size to be able to see some of the more intricate Chinese characters. Since you are learning French which uses a standard Romanized alphabet you likely won't need to do that.

    My phone was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus in case you want to look up the exact specs.

    * Originally posted by Hacksaw.
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